Friday, 20 November 2009

742 STIFF LITTLE FINGERS, Plus Support, Bristol Academy, Tuesday 11 March 2008

It's March, so it must be SLF at the Bristol Academy! This time I thought, oh sod it, why bother, can't be arsed, seen SLF so many times of late etc. etc., but when The Big Man phoned the week beforehand, I thought, oh sod it, why not? Thus it was that for the 4th year running, Rich and I took a trip to Bristol for some old school punk rock. This time it was the Big Man providing the Lauda-esque driving skills in high winds, for our annual "Mad March to Bristol". Got there in no time flat, getting a drink in the venue's back bar whilst the young and poor support played a noisy approximation of current punk, or whatever passes for it these days. Oh, if only The Men They Couldn't Hang, slated to support later in the tour, were doing all the dates...

Two of the many good things about a SLF gig are that (1) me and the Big Man feel young! and (2) it reminds us both that we're in pretty good working order for our age, as half the old punk rockers in this somewhat disappointing turnout seem fit to drop! The other half have brought their kids along, which is nice. SLF fans, the Next Generation...

Another good thing is the best intro music around, the raucous "Guitar And Drum" anthem, soliciting loud "doodle-i-doo"s from us in our vantage point on the floor, stage left. Jake and the boys joined us thereafter, bursting into life with "Roots Radicals Rockers and Reggae" and a superb "Just Fade Away", sorting the initially thin sound out well. Thereafter it was the usual SLF experience; Jake's banter veering from political comment ("my [American] wife said she wants to vote for Hilary Clinton as it'd be nice to have a woman in charge for a change! I had to sit her down and tell her about one Margaret Thatcher") to hero-worship ("I may have had my 50th birthday a few weeks ago, but Joe Strummer's voice still makes my neck hairs stand on end"), and the band, superbly marshalled by angular bassist Ali McMordie, defying the years to deliver a strident set of old school punk rock, you know, the type that still had tunes in and something relevant to say.

"Nobody's Hero" and "Tin Soldiers" (still their best song) were set standouts - encores of a sinuous "Johnny Was" and "Alternative Ulster" ("number 10 in "Classic Rock" magazine's Best British Rock Anthems", quoth Jake!) were the icing on the cake. Another great SLF night - see you next March, no doubt...!

No comments:

Post a Comment